Byrne toughs it out to win Irish Women's Close
Sara Byrne (Douglas) with her caddy father Derek after holing the winning putt on the 17th green to win the 2018 Irish Women's Close Amateur Championship at Enniscrone Golf Club. (19/06/2018). Picture by  Pat Cashman

Sara Byrne (Douglas) with her caddy father Derek after holing the winning putt on the 17th green to win the 2018 Irish Women's Close Amateur Championship at Enniscrone Golf Club. (19/06/2018). Picture by Pat Cashman

Douglas' Sara Byrne took another giant step in her already promising career when she kept her cool in horrific conditions to win the Irish Women's Amateur Close title at Enniscrone.

The 17-year-old Junior Vagliano Trophy player and last year's Munster Girls' champion, came from behind to beat Ennis' Sarah Cunningham 2 and 1 in the semi-finals before repeating the trick to beat Malone's Louise Coffey by the same margin in the final.

Coffey, who beat Portarlington's Meadhbh Doyle 2 and 1 in her semi-final, birdied the third in the rain-soaked decider to go one up.

But Byrne won the fifth, sixth and seventh to go two up and never looked back, closing out her 2&1 victory in the ILGU's 125th-anniversary year with a par at the 17th.
 
“I stayed quite calm out there, I think that was the main thing," said Byrne, who follows in the footsteps of Eavan Higgins, who won in the ILGU's Centenary year. 

"The weather was pretty crappy so I just took my time getting my hands and the clubs dry and made sure I was feeling comfortable over the ball. 

"I was level par for 16 holes, with one little blip, so I am super happy with that in the conditions. 

“This is just amazing, I knew I could do it. When Louise won the third I knew that it was better to be up at the end of the match than at the start, I knew that a one hole difference was nothing, so I stayed patient.

“This is definitely my number one achievement to date, on the final few holes I got a bit nervous but I told myself that I had worked too hard to give this one away. 

"This brings my golf career up a step and any event now I play in I can tell myself that I can win because I am Irish champion!"

Irish Women’s Close Championship, Enniscrone

Final — Tuesday, 19 June

Sara Byrne (Douglas) bt Louise Coffey (Malone) 2&1

Semi-Finals — Tuesday, 19 June

  1. Byrne bt. Cunningham 2&1
  2. Coffey bt. Doyle 2&1

Quarter-finals — Monday, 18 June

  1. Byrne bt Dowling 3&2
  2. Cunningham bt Smith 2&1
  3. Coffey bt Metcalfe 6&5
  4. Doyle bt Donegan 5&4

Round Two – Monday, 18 June

  1. Molly Dowling (Lucan) bt Valerie Clancy (Killarney) 3&1
  2. Sara Byrne (Douglas) bt Lucy Simpson (Royal Portrush) 19th
  3. Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) bt Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) 1 up
  4. Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) bt Kate Dwyer (Rossmore) 2&1
  5. Eleanor Metcalfe (Laytown & Bettystown) bt Jan Browne (Kilkenny) 3&2
  6. Louise Coffey (Malone) bt Jessica Ross (Clandeboye) 1 up, 
  7. Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington) bt Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) 1 up
  8. Aine Donegan (Woodstock) bt Maeve Cummins (Lurgan) 2 up

Round One - Sunday, 17 June

  1. Valerie Clancy (Killarney) bt Chloe O’Connor (Roscommon) 4&3
  2. Molly Dowling (Lucan) bt Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little) 3&2 
  3. Lucy Simpson (Royal Portrush) bt Georgia Carr (Milltown) 2 up 
  4. Sara Byrne (Douglas) bt Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) 5&4
  5. Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) bt Clodagh Coughlan (Douglas) 3&2
  6. Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) bt Emma Fleming (Elm Park) 23rd
  7. Kate Dwyer (Rossmore) bt Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) 1 up
  8. Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) bt Kate Lanigan (Hermitage) 1 up
  9. Jan Browne (Kilkenny) bt Ciara Casey (Hermitage) 2&1
  10. Eleanor Metcalfe (Laytown & Bettystown) bt Hilary Hall (Enniscrone) 2&1
  11. Jessica Ross (Clandeboye) bt Katie O’Hart (Courtown) 2&1
  12. Louise Coffey (Malone) bt Aoife Ní Thuama (Douglas) 2 up
  13. Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) bt Alison Taylor (Malahide) 5&4
  14. Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington) bt Claire Staunton (Ballinasloe) 7&6
  15. Aine Donegan (Woodstock) bt Anna Dawson (Tramore) 3&2
  16. Maeve Cummins (Lurgan) bt Rachel McDonnell (Elm Park) 19th

Final — Tuesday 19 June at 13:30

Ita Wallace Trophy (Plate)

    Final — Monday, 18 June

    • Leah Temple Lang (Elm Park) bt Elisa Corcoran (Grange) 3&1

    Semi-finals — Monday, 18 June

    • Leah Temple Lang (Elm Park) bt Mary Doyle (The Heath)6&5, 
    • Elisa Corcoran (Grange) bt Lisa O’Shea (Shannon) 5&3

    Quarterfinals — Sunday, 17 June 

    • Temple Lang bt Foster 3&2
    • Doyle bt O’Driscoll 3&2
    • O’Shea bt Poots 2 holes 
    • Corcoran bt Burke 2&1

    Round One - Sunday, 17 June

    • Leah Temple Lang (Elm Park) bt Una Marsden (Tullamore) 4&2
    • Anna Foster (Elm Park) bt Clodagh Walsh (Castlewarden) 3&2
    • Mary Doyle (The Heath) bt Lauren Murray (Delgany) 2&1
    • Jean O’Driscoll (Muskerry) bt Corrina Griffin (Killarney) 3&2
    • Katie Poots (Knock) bt Emma Thorne (Elm Park) 2&1
    • Lisa O’Shea (Shannon) bt Claire McGonagle (Portsalon) 3&2
    • Sarah Burke (Mullingar) bt Emma Fenlon (Grange) 2&1
    • Elisa Corcoran (Grange) bt Olivia McCrystal (Holywood) 8&6